Open source affiliate software, you ask? Sounds too good to be true? We have all been there: you want to start an affiliate program or add an affiliate program to your business.

There are only 2 options: a free software script that is buggy and not secure or an overpriced option.

And it’s tough to choose!

Top 6 Affiliate Software that is Free and Open Source:

eLitius(Free and Open Source) Affiliate software script
WeCanTrack(Free but Not Open Source) Affiliate SaaS
Affiliates Manager(Free and Open Source) Affiliate software
Peerclick(Free but Not Open Source)
ThirstyAffiliates(Free and Open Source) WordPress plugin
Easy Affiliate Links(Free and Open Source) WordPress plugin

how to choose the best affiliate network software for your business in 2022?

If you are just starting out, you most likely just want to test the waters. See if the business is expected to bring ROI quickly. You probably already have tons of expenses on other marketing needs.

Unless you are a business with deep pockets, you have to keep track of your expenses and not invest much upfront.

This is why open source affiliate software is a handy alternative. 

Most people prefer to start with a free script or software and upgrade to a paid version once they reach a certain volume of clients or sales.

Affiliate marketing software’s open source options are endless. There are literally dozens upon dozens of websites that offer an open-source affiliate program marketing software plugin or script that you can easily implement in your business.

Affiliate Software Open Source

Affiliate software is a significant expense for many entrepreneurs, but it does not have to be. Many developers worldwide have been creating their own free variations of popular affiliate software programs for years. 

And, those alternatives are often just as good and safe as paid software packages.

The days when you were obliged to pay hundreds of dollars for affiliate software are behind us. 

Over the past ten years, budget-friendly and open-source affiliate software have expanded enormously. 

This free or low-cost affiliate software is now a more suitable replacement for many standards and more expensive affiliate software packages.

Affiliate program software – open source?

An essential aspect of open source affiliate software is that the software’s source code is accessible to everyone. 

As a result, clever minds who stumble upon errors in the software can fix them themselves. These improvements are available to all users after verification by the developer team. This way, you always have the best and most up-to-date package version without paying extra.

The downside of open source affiliate marketing software is that it could be potentially vulnerable to hackers and various attacks. Since the code is accessible to everyone, it can be more prone to various security holes.

Also, since it’s an open-source project, there aren’t many updates or improvements made over time unless the project gets sponsored.

How To Make Money From A Blog? - Affiliate Program Software Open Source

You might find yourself stuck with the same affiliate program software open source script a few years from now while others have already moved forward.

You will save money if you opt for an affiliate program software open source project, but is it worth it?

With open-source affiliate software, you always get what you pay for. 


So, let’s sum it up.

Benefits of Affiliate Program Software (Open Source)

affiliate marketing increase sales -open source Affiliate Software
  • The affiliate software is free. Since the software belongs to everyone, no one can charge for it. The people within the project groups who manage and distribute the Open Source affiliate software put many unpaid hours into this. However, they can again earn money with consultancy, technical services, and support because of their experience with the system and their standing within the community.
  • You are not tied to one supplier with Open Source affiliate program software. It is not so easy to just pick up the website with a CMS and go to another party, but the possibility is there. Just like changing an accountant, this takes a lot of time and energy.
  • Affiliate Extras. Almost all affiliate programs open-source software, making it possible for other programmers to develop plugins. With a plugin, the original system can be enriched with extra functionality. For example, there are thousands of plugins for Joomla to download, from photo album plugins to calendar plugins.
  • Open Source affiliate software is often quickly updated with the latest methods. A group of several dozen programmers usually influences a closed-source software project. An Open Source affiliate software project with a large community is influenced by several hundreds of thousands of programmers, incorporating new techniques faster. Because open source belongs to everyone, everyone is also willing to help each other. Certainly, with large communities with millions of users, you only have to search Google for your problem and find dozens of solutions.

Disadvantages of Open Source affiliate software

Affiliate Program Software Open Source - disadvantages
  • Responsibility. It lies with everyone and nobody. The core developers are, of course, a point of contact. For example, they will take immediate action in the event of a bug report. However, you cannot file a complaint or request a refund anywhere. With Open Source affiliate software, the community expresses its dissatisfaction by no longer using the system. As the community shrinks, this is a sign that the system is not well maintained or technically not well put together.
  • Quality is sometimes hard to find. The ease with which a basic website can be set up is increasing daily. This has a huge advantage but also a disadvantage. It is swarming with so-called experts. Anyone who has once installed Joomla, Drupal, or WordPress calls themselves a web developer. It is very difficult for a client to see who has the experience and who does not. 

How to deal with Open Source?

Going with the flow. Suppose you want to fully enjoy the power of open source affiliate software. In that case, keeping up with the developments and possibilities offered to you is best. Of course, you can make your Open Source affiliate system “your own” by adding plugins or providing a customized template. However, developing something that is not within the system’s capabilities is unwise. 

All advantages of open source affiliate marketing software are thereby nullified.

It costs money to have this done. You become dependent on a company. There is no longer a community that can help you or further develop the affiliate software. Suppose you really want something that is not available within the Open Source system. In that case, you have to take the consequences for this, just like your predecessors at LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Advantages of Using Free and Open Source Affiliate Software

The availability of free and open-source affiliate marketing and monitoring software has proven to benefit any small business or startup that lacks the resources to launch an affiliate network. New and aspiring entrepreneurs can take full advantage of the key features to properly manage marketing campaigns and affiliate commissions and track affiliate performance. Generally speaking, open-source affiliate tracking software are accessible and affordable compared to premium affiliate software such as Scaleo.

5 Best Affiliate Program Software Open Source Solutions (2024 Update) - Affiliate Program Software Open Source

Furthermore, many software suppliers offer a free trial for a limited time to allow users to test the application before purchasing the commercial version to meet their business needs. Even though the free model has fewer options, it is a popular choice because there is no maintenance or extra fee.

Can You Trust Open Source Free Affiliate Management Software?

Regarding affiliates and finances in general, I would personally refrain from handing affiliate management over to an open-source affiliate script. This is not to say there are no outstanding free affiliate network software scripts out there. Still, as an experienced affiliate marketer, I can confidently say that the best affiliate software is always paid, and often is pricey. Suppose you want to sleep at night knowing that your marketing campaign is running smoothly and your affiliate marketing platform is super-secure and robust. In that case, I’d say – don’t go with free affiliate networks or free referral program plugins.


Affiliate marketing software’s open source options can be tempting. Be critical of the affiliate software script you choose; you will have to work with it for a long time. Also, be critical of the plugins you will be using. No matter how good the CMS is, a bad plugin can make the whole system insecure or unstable. And be critical of who you work with. Of course, this applies to all suppliers and specialists. 

But when it comes to Open Source affiliate software, you have to have a lot of confidence that this party is really the best and wants the best for you. Check out our affiliate marketing software for your business if you are up for a more premium option.

Frequently Asked Questions About Open Source Affiliate Tracking Software

Is open source affiliate tracking software as good as premium software?

Generally speaking, open source affiliate tracking software cannot be as good as premium software simply because a lot of effort has been put into the development of the backend, and most companies either cannot afford to waste their time on software that will be distributed free, or will need to charge money for it. Open source affiliate tracking software can be good for very small businesses that are just getting started but will not be sufficient for bigger and more developed companies.

Is opensource affiliate software reliable?

Any opensource solution, especially a complex one like affiliate software, requires a lot of time and money to be invested in it, in order to provide a robust, reliable and secure environment for the business. While open-source affiliate software can, theoretically, be reliable, it’s still a safer bet to go with a premium, paid version.

Affiliate Marketing Software Project – How to Start?

If you are looking to start an affiliate marketing software project, be sure to use open source affiliate software as a base to save time and effort. Once you dip your toes into affiliate marketing and are able to see that your affiliate links and marketing strategy indeed bring in new affiliate publishers who in turn, increase your overall ROI without investing anything extra – you can then consider paid affiliate software as part of establishing a more solid business.

Are referral tracking software open-source solutions the best?

There is no definite answer to the question of whether referral tracking, a software open source solution, is better than a paid one. If you are a developer and looking to create plugins or build code on top of an existing platform, an open source referral tracking software would be best for your needs.

Best affiliate network software in 2022?

1. Scaleo affiliate network software
2. Impact affiliate network
3. WooCommerce affiliate software for WordPress

Last Updated on December 8, 2023


Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.